Book Review: Waves By Ingrid Chabbert

“ Sometimes we drown, drinking in the sea— a sea as red as a heart that’s stopped beating. We look up, from an underwater crossroads— return to the surface or let go”

‘Waves’ by Ingrid Chabbert Tells the story of a couple who have been trying to have a baby for years. Just when it seems like all their hopes and dreams are coming true, they were struck with the most devastating news that will lead them on a journey of pain, grief, and acceptance.

This graphic novels contains some of the most incredibly beautiful illustrations I’ve ever seen. The colours in this comic were just perfect— gave off an almost whimsical and dream-like atmosphere. Carole Maurel, the illustrator of this graphic novel, did such an amazing job with the illustrations. The use of colour and contrast was quite significant and gradually changed as the narrative changed.

Spoiler: In the early pages right after she has lost the baby everything was black and white— almost bleak and depressing. However, as you read on colour starts appearing on the illustrations. It was small things at first— her journal, her main source of strength, then it was a stranger’s blouse, and then you can see the hues of the sunset once again. As you turn the pages and the illustrations get more and more colourful, it’s almost like a direct reflection of the process of grief. It’ll feel like such a slow process and you may not even feel any change, but it is happening. It just takes time.

You almost want to reach into the pages of this novel and just comfort her. I think that its such a courageous thing to write about your own life experiences, especially when they are as personal as loss. Unfortunately, there may be some people in this world that would see this as an opportunity to gain sympathy or attention when really it’s just opening up the opportunity to talk about it. We can’t help those who are hurting, when we are unaware of their pain.

I applaud the author for bringing forward a topic that isn’t talked about as frequently in the mainstream media, and writing about it in such a beautiful way, but at the same time making sure not to take away the rawness of the subject. Any kind of loss is probably one of the most painful experiences in life, but it doesn’t have to consume you for the rest of your life.

I also loved the fact that we never really learn the name of the woman in the story, or her partner, or anyone in this novel. It allows us readers to put ourselves in her shoes, in her journey and experience it all with her— the loss, the grief and the new beginning.

I read the digital copy of this graphic novel, but I immediately searched online for a print version to add to my wish list. I guess my only “complaint” is that I wish this novel was longer, but that’s not really a complaint or a negative issue. I really enjoyed this book from start to finish as it is.

4 stars.

Have you read ‘Waves’ by Ingrid Chabbert?

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